Not too often do we see features on a vehicle that actually upgrade both the safety and the entertainment of the vehicle.  Most features we see fit into either of these categories to give us more connectivity or more safety, but not both.  Not only do we rarely see these two aspects of a vehicle work together, but we rarely see free upgrades from any automaker, let alone one that has so many vehicles that are rated at or near the bottom of every list we have on the market today which makes this offering one that is even more impressive.

FCA is giving nearly two million vehicle owners an upgrade to their infotainment systems to add Siri Eyes Free to the bundle.  This upgrade will be offered to those vehicle owners that have the 8.4-inch Uconnect system and can be downloaded online and installed  by the owner.  If an owner doesn’t want to perform this upgrade themselves they can instead bring the vehicle to the dealership to have the upgrade installed in the vehicle.  This upgrade will allow any owner of an FCA vehicle in the models listed to be able to enjoy the benefit of this great service.

The models that enjoy the free upgrade are:

  • 2013-2015 Ram, 1500, 2500, 3500
  • 2013-2015 Dodge Viper
  • 2014-2015 Dodge Durango
  • 2015 Dodge Challenger and Charger
  • 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee
  • 2015 Jeep Renegade
  • 2015 Chrysler 200 and 300

What des Siri Eyes Free allow you to do?  This feature allows you to use voice commands after pushing a button on the steering wheel that make it easy for you to send text messages, make phone calls, set reminders, play music and access the navigation features of the car.  The beauty is you can do all this while keeping your eyes on the road, which makes this a feature that is not only good for safety but also for improved entertainment.

This upgrade is a serious improvement for those customers who have Apple products because they can now integrate their phone into their driving without the need to look down at their phone and without the desire to text while driving.  As a generation of drivers that are more distracted than ever you can see exactly how much better this improvement can make our driving experience on the road to help ensure we don’t feel we need to look at or use our phone while driving.

As the right step for FCA it makes me wonder if other automakers are going to follow suit sometime soon so that they too can offer their customers the benefits of Siri Eyes Free in vehicles that can use it.  I’m amazed this was offered as a free upgrade by FCA and would expect others to do the same.  The next step we need is an eyes free feature for those who use Android phones so that more can enjoy the safety of driving with their eyes on the road along with the entertainment of using voice commands to communicate and to choose the right music for the drive.